Finding the Perfect Autoresponder for You

Finding the Perfect Autoresponder for You

There’s no BEST autoresponder software out there. They all have their pros and cons. Depending upon your individual needs, different softwares are “best” for different people. That being said, we want to make sure the abyss of autoresponder options doesn’t suck you in and leave you unable to commit. Autoresponder sequences are a pivotal aspect when it comes to getting customer reviews and so we want you to take full advantage of this strategy. 

So, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Read this article about our two favorite autoresponder software. But if you’re short on time, the main things that will help you hone in on the best fit would be:
    • Price based on the volume of emails you anticipate sending
    • Level of specificity based on the number of products and sequences you want to set up
    • A/B testing and how much you want to monitor the results of certain sequences
    • The metrics they measure like open rate, reviews received, and feedback received. 
    • If you also want additional tools beyond just the autoresponder
  2. Pick one software based upon your needs. Our two favorites:
  3. Write an engaging and compelling autoresponder sequence. 
  4. Make that sequence live! 
    • Manage By Stats 
    • Feedback Genius

I know, you’re thinking, “But I don’t know how to write an engaging and compelling autoresponder sequence that leads to action. No worries! We are releasing a brand new course that not only will teach you how to write autoresponders that lead to action and reviews but also a ton of other review strategies that we have used to get tens of thousands of reviews for our clients.

Stay tuned to see what we have in the pipeline for you!  

Increase Profits by Minimizing These 6 Amazon Selling Fees

Increase Profits by Minimizing These 6 Amazon Selling Fees

This post was written by our friends at PingPong for the TurnKey Success Blog

If you sell on Amazon, it can sometimes feel like there’s a different fee hiding around every corner. But what are sellers really paying for and why? Is it possible to pay less in fees and make more money on Amazon? Yes, it’s possible! The first step is knowing what you’re being charged for and what to do instead. 

In this post, we’ll cover 6 types of fees Amazon sellers run into, and how to keep  those fees from cutting into your profits. From FBA fees to high currency exchange rates, we’ll take a look at a few of the costlier Amazon fees and strategic ways to lower them, so you can increase profits. 

 

Amazon Fee #1: Fulfillment Fees

When you have items stored in an Amazon FBA warehouse, they need to be moved around when someone orders from you. Sometimes by robots, sometimes by humans. The items also need to be packaged and sent on their way. Amazon’s fulfillment fees pay for these services. 

Amazon FBA fees are charged per unit of product and based on two factors:

  1. The size of your packaged product (dimensions on each side)
  2. The weight of your packaged product

Based on these two qualities, a product falls into a pre-determined bracket and gets charged accordingly. 

Here, we can see an example of a dry erase board and how the fees are calculated:

How to Lower Your Amazon Fulfillment Fees

It might seem like there’s not much you can do about it, and there’s no point in dwelling on it since Amazon charges according to product size and weight. 

But if you pay close attention, you may be able to make a slight change that puts you into a lower bracket. For example, you can try making your packaging more compact or adjust your product to make it weigh less. 

Obviously, it’s not always an option, but it’s worth examining your products for smart opportunities to reduce their size and weight (and increase your profit margins). 

 

Amazon Fee #2: Multi-Channel Fulfillment Fees

Multi-Channel Fulfillment by Amazon is a service that’s not limited only to orders from the Amazon platform itself. Amazon allows you to use its system to fulfill orders that are sold on other platforms or your own website. 

The fees Amazon charges are calculated by unit, which is placed in one of the predetermined fee brackets. They’re based on the product’s weight and size, plus speed of delivery. There are three options:

  1. Priority shipping (next day)
  2. Expedited shipping (2 day)
  3. Standard shipping (3-5 days)

How to Lower Your Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment Fees 

Again, a way you can save money here is by studying your brackets to see if it’s possible to reduce the weight and or size of a single product unit. 

You may also choose to have your products delivered via a longer delivery period. This is a tradeoff, obviously, however, note that your can pick and choose delivery times on a product-by-product basis to maximize profits. 

 

Amazon Fee #3 – Amazon Storage Fees

When you have inventory in an FBA warehouse, you’re essentially paying rent to store your items with Amazon. Unlike the previous fees that are paid on a per unit basis, here you’re charged by the cubic foot of space your inventory takes up.

Exactly how much you pay in Amazon storage fees depends on three factors:

  1. The amount of cubic space taken up by your inventory 
  2. The time of the year
  3. How long the product has been housed in the warehouse

How to Lower Your Amazon Storage Fees

Amazon increases the storage fees during the 4th quarter or the last three months of the year. Not surprisingly, this is due to increased holiday shopping. If your product is seasonal and know you won’t sell many items during the winter, you can avoid higher storage costs during the holidays by having a summer blowout. You can also potentially save money by adjusting your packaging to make your products more compact.  

 

Amazon Fee #4 – Amazon Referral Fees

These are the fees Amazon charges you for successfully selling an item on their platform. It’s charged by the percentage of the total sale price. In most cases, it’s 15%, but for Kindle and digital products it can zoom up to almost 50%.

How to Lower Your Amazon Referral Fees

Consider changing the way you categorize your product with Amazon. By carefully choosing your category, you may be able to find new categories to list your product where the fee is lower.  It’s a potential instant boost to your bottom line. 

 

Amazon Fee #5 – Return Processing Fees

Most items sold on Amazon come with a no questions asked, 30-day return policy, which can be very painful for a seller. Here is what happens on Amazon when a customer returns an item:

  1. The customer gets refunded the total sum they paid from your account.
  2. Amazon refunds you for the referral fee that was charged when the purchase was made. 
  3. Amazon charges you a return processing fee which is equal to the fulfillment fee that was initially charged on the total cost of the product sold. 
  4. Your item either goes back to your inventory or is deemed unfulfillable and destroyed.

So essentially, not only do you miss out on a sale, you also end up paying the fulfillment fee twice on that order (once when it got shipped to the customer and once when it was returned to the fulfillment center by the customer) even though you might not even get to keep the product that got returned. 

How to Lower Your Return Fees

Avoiding returns can be a huge boost to the bottom line for your Amazon business. The best way to combat profit-killing returns is to educate your customers and prospective customers about what your product does and how to use it. 

Educating customers reduces the chances of these two likely scenarios from happening:

  1. The customers buy the product thinking it’s something that it’s not (wrong product)
  2. The customers buy the product without knowing how to properly use it (needs instructions)

Another reason to take returns seriously is to keep in mind that getting too many of them can hurt your seller rating and even get your listing suspended. 

 

Amazon Fee #6 – Currency Conversion Fees

Currency conversion is an important factor in your Amazon business if you sell internationally. Amazon has its own way of converting currency. Although it’s not prominently displayed, there are fees that comes along with this service. These rates tend to be on the high end of the conversion rate spectrum at around 3.5%. That’s quite a chunk of your earnings, especially since it’s taken off your profits after paying the fees you owe Amazon. 

To avoid these fees, you can try to set up a foreign bank account that would allow you to receive the funds in the same currency as the Amazon marketplace where you’re selling in. In the old days, this meant facing the possibility of having to visit that country to set up a bank account, plus provide a business address in that country. Not exactly the easiest option.  

How to Take Control of Amazon Currency Fees

Another option that makes cross border payments easier and cheaper is a global currency account. In one fell swoop, you may be able to slash 2-3% off what you were paying to exchange money using Amazon Currency Converter.

With a global currency account like the one from PingPong, you’ll have an account that’s licensed, regulated, and trusted around the world. PingPong has more than 43,000 customers who rely on them to get the best rates on currency exchange. 

You can also control when you exchange your currency to take advantage of the best FX rates. Better control, lower rates means higher profits for your business. Plus, make free VAT payments and free supplier payments from the same multi-currency account to save even more. 

Setting up a multi-currency account online is a simple fast, process – your account may be approved within 48 hours. You can even ask for a free rate comparison to see how much you’ll save first.

Resolving a Seller Central Account Suspension FAST!

Resolving a Seller Central Account Suspension FAST!

You put your blood sweat and tears into crafting the perfect Amazon listing. Sales are on the rise and you’re feeling great. Selling on Amazon is the best! Then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue your listing gets suspended! Every minute that you’re unable to sell feels critical to your brand’s credibility and your business’ bottom line. You need to get back selling FAST!

While suspension is a major stressor for Amazon sellers, we want you to know that the world isn’t going to come to an end and there are things you can do to help resolve the issue. So take some deep breaths, clear your mind of all of those “what-if” scenarios that are floating around and let’s get to work!

The first step in resolving a suspension is to determine why you got suspended in the first place. Amazon will notify you of your suspension in the “Performance Notifications” section of your Seller Central account. The top three reasons for suspensions are: 

  1. A major increase of returns or bad reviews: If your product’s performance has shown a downward trend, Amazon will try to protect itself and its customers by putting a hold on your ability to sell on the platform. 
  2. A violation of Amazon’s terms of service: Amazon’s ever-changing set of rules and regulations can make it especially difficult to ensure that you are compliant. Staying on top of Amazon’s TOS is critical to maintaining your selling status. 
  3. Selling a restricted product: There are limitations to what you can sell on Amazon, and you must be very careful not to misrepresent your product, sell anything in violation of Amazon policies, and maintain the various approvals needed to sell your product. This is especially true of ingestible or topical products. For example, recently some CBD products have been riding the line of complying with Amazon’s restriction policies. They are having to constantly verify that they are not mislabeling their products or misleading their customers. 

So now that you’ve determined the why behind your suspension, you need to create a plan of action to resolve the issue. If your returns and bad reviews have increased, you may need to revamp your customer service or put some better systems in place to ensure customer complaints are handled more effectively. If the issue was violating policies, you may need to change your listing. If your product is restricted, you may need to alter your packaging or get the proper approvals from Amazon.   

The best way to resolve any suspension is to own your mistake and reaffirm to Amazon your desire to make things right. They want to see you are trustworthy and committed to being a legitimate seller, and not someone who simply wants to take advantage of the platform. Amazon is a well-oiled machine, and they don’t want a disruption to their system. Suspensions are their way of quickly and efficiently eliminating a product they deem to be problematic to their platform for one reason or another. It may not always make sense to you, but just understand that if you want to be a successful seller on Amazon, you need to play by their rules. If you can make it as easy as possible on them to reinstate you, by making an action plan and coming to them with that plan already in place, you’re going to be much more likely to have your suspension lifted quickly. 

Once you have a plan to address the reason for the suspension, you can start the process of getting your listing reinstated. Go back to the “Performance Notification” section in Seller Central, and click “Appeal” next to the suspension notice. This is where you’ll let Amazon know your plan to resolve the reason for the suspension.  Be very clear that you understand the issue and that you have a detailed strategy to address the problem. Even better, explain how you’ve already started executing that plan.

Be respectful, professional, and decisive when it comes to explaining your plan of action. Be concise and direct (bullet points are fine) when addressing the reason for the suspension and the solution to the issue, and don’t get off track with extra information unrelated to the rectification of the issue that caused the suspension. No matter how upset you are about the suspension, do not use this appeal as a platform to express your frustration. The last thing Amazon wants to see is a message from a disgruntled seller arguing about the suspension and complaining about the injustice of it all. This tactic will not motivate them to move things along for you.

In the event the suspension is more complicated, and the appeal is not effective in getting the suspension lifted, we would recommend using the services of Thompson and Holt. They are experts at suspensions on Amazon and they would love to help you troubleshoot the issue so you can get back to growing your product sales. 

Above all, don’t let a suspension get you down. You now have the knowledge to get the issue resolved, so you can get back to selling. If you’re in need of an Amazon expert to help you through issues like suspensions, effectively managing your listings, growing the number of customer reviews your product has, etc… we would love to chat with you about the services we offer at TurnKey Product Management.  Come check us out and let us show you how you can take you Amazon sales to the next level!

Systematize Your Business with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Systematize Your Business with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

In any business, there are tasks which must be performed on a regular basis. Generally, these tasks are assigned to a member of the team who has been trained to perform them. But what happens when that team member is unavailable, or it is necessary to train additional employees on how to perform the task? Creating and maintaining standard operating procedures or SOPs are a great way to ensure that tasks can be performed and understood by any of your team members.

At TurnKey, we follow a simple six-step process when creating SOPs:

  1. Record a video of you completing the process (a screen share) explaining it as you go.
  2. Once you’ve recorded the video, write step-by-step directions based on the video.
  3. When the SOP has been created, have a separate team member proofread the SOP. It is helpful to have them walk through the SOP step-by-step to ensure you’ve captured all of the necessary points. 
  4. Send the SOP to a designer to polish it up and make it look professional.
  5. After the designer has formatted it, have your team double-check the SOP to ensure the designer didn’t make any mistakes.
  6. Create a task checklist in a project management system for your
    team to follow based on the SOP that was created.

Creating SOPs may seem like an unnecessary step in your business process, but having clear step-by-step instructions for all of the processes and tasks within your company will save time in the long run. It is the first step in ensuring that your business becomes as streamlined and automated as possible!

Want more in-depth instructions on creating SOPs and other topics that will help your business to function well and your sales to skyrocket? Apply now and find out what services you qualify for that can help you systematize your business!

Sales Copy Magic: Using Words to Transform Your Listing

Sales Copy Magic: Using Words to Transform Your Listing

Selling online can be tough because you don’t always get to touch and see the product in person, which means that capturing your audience can be a bit trickier. When it comes to selling on Amazon, the foundation of converting views to sales is your listing copy. Potential buyers will not only base their decision on the visual elements of your listing but also what they learn about your product in your bullet points and product description. Thus, it is important to use words that will both make your product relatable to your target market and entice your customers to buy. 

Effective sales copy is a crucial component of your listing and can help you properly position your products on Amazon. It can, in fact, mean the difference between making a single sale or creating a lifelong customer. Any sales copy worth its salt will answer a crucial question: Why? If you can explain to your customers why they need your product, you have won most of the sales battle. Your product’s “why” should paint a picture of how your product will fit into the consumer’s lifestyle. 

Brands like Apple and Nike have done a phenomenal job of defining their “why”, and as a result have amassed cult followings among consumers. They lead with clear, succinct missions statements that define their core values, and follow up with the logistics of what their products do. These companies have been successful because consumers understand their why, and purchase their product to be part of a vision not necessarily for their products themselves. 

When working on your sales copy and defining your “why”, here are five places we recommend looking for inspiration: 

  1. Check Out Reviews and Comments – Whether they belong to your product or a competitor’s, people who have previously purchased the product will give you insight into the reasons why consumers are buying products in your niche. 
  2. Review Customer Questions – These could help you understand what potential customers are looking for prior to purchasing products.
  3. Talk with people in your niche – Going straight to the horse’s mouth can give you insight into your target customer’s motivations.
  4. Find fitting affirmation statements – These should inspire your customer and encourage them to reach their goals in life.
  5. Use Famous or Inspirational Quotes – Either directly use the quotes or paraphrase them to enhance your product

Once you’ve defined your why, creating dynamic sales copy will be much easier.

Want more support in creating the type of sales copy that converts prospects into customers? Apply now to see which of our services you qualify for.